Quite contrary to the thought of guitars being a modern instrument, its history is known to be as old as 4000 years old. The guitar as we know it today has probably been derived from Spain, in the 16th century. It is said to be an advancement of a four-stringed instrument known as the Guitarra Latina, from the medieval times.
Yet, there have been many variations of this popular stringed instrument throughout history. Even the body of the guitar has undergone immense transformation and evolution. Today, a guitar's body is broad, but in the past, there have been guitars even in the shape of a lyre back in the 1800s. Today, we even have an electric guitar. Both the acoustic and electric guitar can be found being played widely in popular music. While the acoustic remains more of a choice for country music, whereas its electric counterpart gives effects which are more appropriate for rock and punk.
The various effects of guitars throughout history include changes in pitches, echo levels, the use of reverb to give more effects of the space and environment in which the guitar is being played. A lot of these effects were added using props in the early days. However, now they can easily be added in recordings using digital music software. Chords are used to create appropriate notes on the guitar via strumming, be it produced digitally or tangibly.
Also See: Understanding Guitar Chords [Infographic]
Check out the infographic below for more information on one of the most widely used instruments of today.
Infographic by: SongSimian